A (Brief) Manifesto Concerning Citizenship

Scripted on fancy hotel letterhead, redacted other than an address at Very Tip of Brooklyn, Essentially Queens. Written carefully in sweeping calligraphy:

World citizen, not I. The world is not a specific place, it is only as large or as small as one can conceive. My own citizenship is even more abstract than that, and belongs to no place on any map. Any I have had in the past, I renounce; any to which I am entitled in the future, I waive. Citizenship is what gives the government provenance over who you are and where you can go. It is a weapon which ought to be forgone and forgotten. It is colonization and nationalistic pride. It is tied to imaginary borders and born of division.

Corruption is the highest virtue for a municipality, because it proves that the human beating heart has overcome the strangulating sclerosis of the state. If done properly, it renders police ineffectual, impotent soldiers in a long lost, nonviolent war. It sends bureaucrats on endless, circular recovery missions into their own laws. It purifies the killer drugs, makes accessible the useful drugs, clears the vice laws, empties the prisons, tears down the harmful institutions and seeds the earth for communities to grow up in their stead.

It is not currently that time. This world, the one that wealthy people pretend to be citizens of, will end, either in fire or flood. There will trouble, more trouble, and there will be a call, and that call will be answered, and there will be a fight. There is already a fight. In the meantime, we will work to discover the means of our souls, how much beauty they will contain and how much they can produce, and we will live beyond them. We will excavate reservoirs of beauty inside ourselves which outstrip any we have seen outside. We will invent new ways to be beautiful.

This manifesto is not addressed to an anonymous mass. It is addressed to a specific person, one who requires the second-person pronoun “you.” Every aspect of yourself that has felt homogenous because you were told your various citizenships required it is dissolved. If this time feels tenuous, it is because it is. If you feel fragile within this time, it is because you are, or at least this you is. Where “you” becomes “us” is the point at which we fight together. All past lives led inexorably to this one, the one in which we shake off the shackles of state and power over.

One day you might leave this non-citizenship, and you will be missed, but you will not be disbarred. A partnership which requires not passports nor visas, which spring from kinships perhaps forged in but not necessary entailed by blood, this is a community. I have spirits to describe to you, whispers of pasts which know no state and recognize no civic affiliation, and the more you fear them now, the more you will love them later.

No country, no purpose beyond people.